Symbolism and History in Robert Hayden's Angle of Ascent
No analysis of Hayden poems can fail to recognize the place that symbolism and history occupies in his poems. In reading the Hayden’s work, an audience quickly deciphers pervasive sense of the past in his work in addition to a powerful nostalgic strain in his poems. To this end, this study explores the symbolism and historical elements in the Hayden’s “Angle of Ascent” poems to understand how Hayden uses these two concepts in his poem collection. Goldstein and Chrisman argue that “Angle of Ascent” by Hayden re-enacts the course of collaboration of his character as both a symbolist and ...view middle of the document...
The poems focuses on the modern, but feature a strong logic of history. Rowell’s argues that an extensive collection of modern poetry skillfully archives some of the most provocative and lyric African-American voices in the American literary catalog showing “Angles of Ascent” pilot audience through deep poetic traditions by Africans-American (Cordite Poetry). Moreover, Robert Hayden symbolistic imagination focuses on divining the character of a transcendent order of grace and spirit that may convert a world bent on its own annihilation. Goldstein and Chrisman argue that “Angle of Ascent” by Hayden re-enacts the course of a collaboration of Hayden character as both a symbolist and historian (172). Studies show that Hayden identification with blackness is perceived as a vengeful one, while the symbolist in his poems are an enemy of his characteristically black and historical muse. His symbolist nature clings parasitically to the ingenuity of his black history. As an Historian, Hayden summons up the significant facts of a poet’s ancestry; and the symbolist immediately changes them into the art terms. For example
Virginia baroque (Goldstein and Chrisman 172)”
Goldstein and Chrisman maintain that the review of Hayden work dwells so much on the manifold possibilities of Hayden symbolism, especially about the practices of Yeats and Eliot, whom he indirectly refers to sometimes, and to Auden who is significant in his poetry growth. Therefore, history is critical implying that poems demonstrate the level of Hayden’s mastery of tradition, which is both Euro-American and Afro-American in nature (Pontheolla 164). Hayden as cited in Friedlander said he was invariably interested in pursuing Afro-American history, thus, when he was a young poet, he knew that his history was misrepresented giving him the need to understand his past. Thus, no analysis of Hayden poetry can avoid noting the place that history occupies in his poems. In reading the Hayden’s work, an audience quickly notes a pervasive sense of the past in addition to a powerful elegiac strain in his poems (162). To this end, this study explores symbolism and historical elements in the Hayden’s “Angle of Ascent” to understand how Hayden uses them in his poem collection.
The symbol is an image, object, or a word that evokes additional meaning that transcends and often more abstract than its literal meaning. In literature, symbols are learning devices for evoking intricate ideas without applying meticulous explanations that would make a piece of writing look more of an essay than an experience. Through the conventional symbols, meaning is recognized by various societies and writers use them to reinforce various meanings. A literary symbol can be a character, object, action, setting, name, or other thing in the literary work that upholds its literal meaning while suggesting different...